Friday, March 4, 2011

Taylor Hall fights, and the Oilers are doomed to fail

Last night, Taylor Hall proved how tough he was by fighting Derek Dorsett, a primitive thug with 11 career goals in 160 games and, while he stands as a 5'11" welterweight, he had 40 NHL fights to Hall's zero, never mind the dozens of scraps Dorsett had in junior.

Hall's fight showed grit, moxie, determination, character, and every single other useless attribute that should be discounted. What matters is that Hall is just another hot-headed 18-year old who has no parents to control his temper on national TV.

Whatever, it happens.

Why Steve Tambellini, Tom Renney and Kevin Lowe are allowing this to happen is beyond logic and reason, and this is why the Oilers rebuild efforts are doomed to fail.
While the Oilers love Hall’s tenacity with and without the puck in his first NHL season, they would rather he kept his gloves on. “It goes without saying the organization doesn’t want Taylor fighting,” said team president Kevin Lowe. “But very few players go their careers without the odd dust-up, including Wayne (Gretzky), Mario (Lemieux), Sidney (Crosby). Heck, even Jean Beliveau.”
What an apologetic stance from Lowe. As if Hall's mind wasn't warped enough, check out the quotes from that article, saying that he'd "do it again" and "there's nothing in your contract that says you can't fight and can't defend yourself."

He'll probably think twice next time, since he's awaiting the results of an MRI on a possible ankle sprain as a result of the fight and hasn't joined the team in Denver on their road trip.

But! What heart! What grit! Clearly, there's nothing wrong with the Oilers trading away Dustin Penner pre-maturely, or potentially losing Ales Hemsky after next season because the team has no direction. Taylor Hall is the kind of guy you "win" with, at least for six more under-.500 seasons complete with lottery picks until he packs his bags or is traded away to give the reigns to Colton Teubert or whoever Ryan Whitney is traded for this summer.

Somebody needs to give this franchise some direction, somebody who can tell Hall at the start of this game "I've played against Dorsett before. He's going to try to do this and this to you. Don't get sucked in. Just play the game." Without anybody around to let Hall know that losing your cool is inherently wrong, you've essentially handed him the keys to this station wagon that's become the Edmonton Oilers.

"I swear, Mom, that dent was always there".

1 comment:

  1. The funny thing is that this is being sold as Hall defending himself when it's really about an enforcer going after a guy that took a cheap shot at his teammate. Dorsett went after Hall because he tried to blindside Calvert. Watch and he pops up on the hit to try to pop Calvert's head off.

    The other thing is that fights now have far too much wrestling. If it was still just about throwing punches Hall wouldn't have sprained his ankle.

    Hopefully the public statements from the team are being matched by talks behind the scenes explaining that the team can't afford to lose him for two months in a season that matters.